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Xu, Sijie, Yang, Xiaocong, Liu, Jieyu, Chong, Marc Ka-Chun, Cheng, Yu, Gong, Weiwei and Zou, Guanyang (2023) 'Health and wellbeing among the empty nest and non-empty nest elderly in China—Results from a national cross-sectional study.' PLOS One, 18 (9). pp. 1-15.

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Background The number of empty nest elderly in China has gradually increased in recent years. There is growing concern about the physical and mental health of this population as empty nest elderly are commonly at the risk of compromising health, home safety and quality of life. This study reported the health and well-being of empty nest elderly with regards to their health status, depression and satisfaction, lifestyle as compared to non-empty nest elderly in China. Methods Data was collected from the 2018 follow-up interviews of China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Survey. We included 4,630 empty nest elderly and 6,188 non-empty nest elderly. Chi-square Test and Logistic Regression were used to compare the differences between these two groups. Results As compared to the non-empty nest elderly, there was higher proportion of empty nest elderly who suffered from dyslipidemia, diabetes, chronic lung diseases, heart attack (27.0% vs. 25.0%; 16.6% vs. 15.1%; 19.4% vs. 16.4%; 26.3% vs. 23.4%, P < 0.05). The empty nest elderly had higher proportion of participants who drank more than once a month (25.3% vs. 23.9%, P < 0.05), who felt satisfied with their marriage (71.6% vs. 66.2%, P < 0.001), who were satisfied with their children’s relationship (85.2% vs. 83.2%, P < 0.001). However, these significances disappeared in the Logistic Regression analysis (P > 0.05). Conclusion Our study showed that significant between-group difference was found between empty nest elderly and non-empty nest elderly in their health and wellbeing. However, disappearance of such difference in the multivariable analysis may indicate improved health and wellbeing among the empty nest elderly. Even though our study still suggested the importance of improving the health, lifestyles and family dynamics of the elderly and promoting the integration of health and social care for the elderly, especially among the empty nest elderly.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Regional Centres and Institutes > SOAS China Institute
Subjects: H Social Sciences
ISSN: 19326203
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2023 11:49

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